Thiruvananthapuram, Sep 16 : Two government vehicles were set afire Friday as protests here against the rise in petrol prices turned violent, police said. Protests were reported from other parts of Kerala too.

Meanwhile, the Motor Employees Union said all taxis and autorickshaws will keep off the roads across the state for a day on Monday to protest against the fuel price rise.

Price of petrol went up by Rs.3.14 per litre to touch Rs.69.54 in Thiruvananthapuram.

Angry front organisations of the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) went on a rampage, setting fire to two government vehicles and pelting stones at a police jeep, while staging protests in front of central government offices.

Acting swiftly, police took into custody a few people suspected of the attacks and also carried out a baton-charge to disperse the mob.

Protesting the act on their activists, the opposition Left Democratic Front has called a dawn-to-dusk shutdown here Saturday.

Former home minister and CPI-M leader Kodiyeri Balakrishnan told reporters here that the state government is "playing the dirty game" of using force to put down democratic forms of protest.

Protests were reported elsewhere in Kerala too. In Kozhikode, protesters blocked the railways tracks, delaying running of trains in north Kerala.

Meanwhile, the government said it would discuss measures to cushion the effect of the hike.

"I will discuss with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy on what the state can do to absorb the increase in fuel prices," said Finance Minister K.M. Mani.


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